When you get ready for your day, do you go through the same sequence of events? Most people have a specific routine they follow. Some people get up, start the coffee, read the newspaper, shower, and dress. Others wake up, hit the snooze three times, get up, eat breakfast, work out, shower and dress.
And I am sure there are people who get up, get in the shower, dress and fly out the door. This subconscious string of tasks is called your morning routine.
The organization and structure of routines help all of us maximize our time. Although a morning routine is a great start, there are other ways to integrate routines into our lives. Think of the various times of your day or activities that seem to get hectic or chaotic. It might be when you first arrive at the office or when you come home at the end of your day. Pulling off an event or getting through meetings might cause disorganization. Look for times during your week that beg for structure and organization. Maybe you find yourself running around every day doing errands. Perhaps the weekends fly by and you’re left wondering what you accomplished.
Some examples of common routines include:
- Morning routine
- Afternoon routine
- Evening routine
- Company event routine
- Travel routine
- Meeting routine
- Invoicing routine
- Workout routine
- Meal planning routine
- Bedtime routine
- Errand routine
- End of quarter routine
- Vacation routine
- Chore routine
When instituting new routines, I recommend starting with just one. Pick the area of your life that would most benefit from a routine, and commit to developing a specific series of tasks you will go through on a consistent basis. Decide what time the routine starts and what time it ends. Make a list of each step you will go through to complete your routine. Let’s use the example of an after-work routine. It might look something like this:
Check messages on voice mail
Relax for 15 minutes
Get the children started on homework
Set the table
Clear the table
Do the dishes while children finish homework
Be ready to have some downtime
Creating Successful Routines
A lot of people try putting routines into place, only to abandon them later. Something about the routine doesn’t work out, or life gets in the way. I want you to be successful with your routines, so keep these tips in mind when developing and following through on your routines.
Remember: Start with one new routine at a time. Wait until this routine is operating smoothly before implementing another routine.
Make sure your routine is clear and specific. A complete stranger should be able to come into your life, read your routine, and follow it exactly, without any questions. Be consistent with your routine, especially in the beginning. Consistency is what turns your routine into
Many people give up after they mess up, often abandoning a good idea because there was no room for flexibility. A perfect example is individuals that give up on exercising because they have a bad week, and are unable to follow through on their workout routine. A difficult day or week does not mean your routine can’t be successful. It simply means that your routine is more challenging to follow right now. Put the past behind you and start fresh. Your past does not have to predict your future.
When creating your routine, make sure it is clear and specific, but not too difficult. The more complicated the routine, the more likely you will give up or receive resistance from other people in your life.
Avoid These “Routine” Busters
Getting Too Busy to Follow Through
Lack of Accountability
Lack of Participation from One or More Involved Members
Not Being Flexible
Lack of Commitment
I want you to stop and think about all the habits you have in your life right now that are related to your time. Let me help you get started by exploring these questions:
What time do you get up?
What time do you go to bed?
How much time do you spend watching TV?
How often do you look for things because of disorganization?
How much time do you spend on junk mail or email?
How often do you say yes to things you don’t want to do?
Is procrastination an issue for you?
Do you exercise, relax, and eat healthy? (yes, this affects your time)
Are you managing your thought life? (Getting caught up in negative thinking will considerably affect your mood, level of energy, and ultimately your time.)
Sometimes, we can get caught up in habits, without even realizing it, that have a big impact on our time. By integrating daily habits that help us manage our time better, we can create more time for ourselves. Pick 5-10 daily habits that you can work on that will save you more time or help you better manage the time you have. Record your daily habits in a chart and work on each of these until they become a way of life for you. Give yourself a sticker, smiley face or checkmark every day you are successful. It may sound sort of childish, but it works! You are rewarding yourself for
Using Routines and Daily Habits to Better Manage Your Time
February 22, 2017